Do you ever have junk in your head – the nonsense that tells you that you aren’t enough or can’t do something? Does that junk ever cause you to procrastinate or lose clarity? If so, you are not alone. The reality is that even some of my most accomplished friends doubt themselves at times. The difference being that achievers have tools to deal with the junk and those that do not achieve tend to allow that nonsense to keep them stuck.
Lately, I have been writing a lot about pivots – times in our lives where we decide to take a new direction. These could be health pivots like my friend Mia is doing. Mia is in her 50’s, a cardiothoracic nurse, and has recently decided to do her first bikini competition. She has gone from long runs to intense weight sessions and it is paying off.
I have another friend, Cliff, who is doing a career pivot. After building a digital marketing agency and selling it, and a financial services agency, and selling it, he is now taking the helm of Harvey Mackay Academy where I will be standing faculty. For Cliff, this pivot is a new direction for his career and he is excited.
A pivot could be defined as a time in our lives where we want to achieve at a higher level and in order to do it, we must learn new skills, create new habits, and essentially become someone we have never been. Pivoting brings up a lot of junk in our heads.
Something I have learned about dealing with head junk is that we must have the tools to deal with it. When we are going for our goals, we do not have time to wallow in nonsense; it is essential to purge that junk and move on.
My best advice to purge the head junk – do something intensely physical so that you get out of your head and into your body. We are so often disconnected and that is why we stuff our emotions with food, alcohol, drugs, and abuse ourselves. As an aside, I have many friends who are overweight and yet brilliant. They push their emotions down with Ben and Jerry’s as they forge their way through business, never allowing themselves to feel.
I do not like to give my head junk any valuable real estate. It keeps me from being productive and leads to self-sabotage. I run, I do hot yoga, I ride my Peloton, I hike, and do weights. These are all great daily strategies however once in awhile, I like to truly challenge myself which is what I did yesterday – 3 hot yogas in one day!
The first one was fairly easy. My favorite instructor was teaching and I felt ridiculously happy. Two of my friends, Gordie and Tracy, and I, decided that we would mastermind in between classes. Gordie has a new book launching and we were working on the architecture of his funnels and Tracy is building a program based on her new book.
When I walked in the room for the second class, a mere 3 hours after the first one, the room seemed hotter and I started sweating immediately. The junk in my head started, ‘it is hotter in here. You could just lie down. Don’t push yourself.’ Instead of doing battle with the head junk, I simply acknowledged it and even smiled at it. ‘Nice try,’ I thought to myself. After years of doing the work, teaching the work, and living the work, it would take more than that to take me out of the game.
The sweat poured off of me in turrets. I bent over for my downward dog and a steady stream of fluid soaked my mat. I did pose after pose and made it through the second class.
The third class was a mere two hours after the second. This time, I decided to go on the offensive with my head junk. I walked into the room like Wonder Woman, went to one of the hottest section, plunked down my mat, my water, and silently said, ‘let’s do this.’ The room felt somewhat cooler and the first twenty minutes went well. ‘Easy,’ I thought.
The head junk attempted to take me out. ‘Lay down,’ it told me. ‘You will have kidney failure,’ it nagged. ‘What if you injure yourself?’ It chided. ‘The last time you did this, you were exhausted for days.’ The head junk was pulling out the entire arsenal of nonsense. This time, I listened, acknowledge it for sharing, and put a smile on my face because I chose not to give away my power.
That night, sitting on my sofa, reading a book, I felt relaxed, calm, and grateful, I reflected on all of the work I have done, taught, and continue to do. If not for embracing the daily habit of bettering myself, there would be no way that I could soldier through 3 hot yogas and not cow to the junk in my head.
My message for you my friend is to make a decision to do something that tests you physically. Observe what comes up and know that every time you can come out the other side, you get stronger – mentally and physically. If we want to achieve, we must be equipped to deal with whatever nonsense comes up and that, in and of itself, is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give ourselves.